Mountain biodiversity


Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.

Half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains are home to rare species of plants and animals. These include increasingly rare animals such as gorillas, mountain lions, and the majestic tahr or strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias.

A large portion of the world's most precious gene pools (for agriculture and medicine) are preserved in mountains. Crops that are important for food security, such as maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, beans and apples, have been diversified in mountains and an array of domestic animals - sheep, goats, yaks, llamas and alpacas - have originated or been diversified in mountains. Other crops, such as wheat, rye, rice, oats and grapes, have found new homes in the mountains and evolved into many varieties. Coffee and tea, with their roots in Ethiopia and the Himalayan region, are mountain crops as well. Medicinal plants are one of the most valuable resources from high altitudes. This rich biodiversity holds cultural, ecological and economic value. In the Andes, for example, farmers know of as many as 200 different varieties of indigenous potatoes and, in Nepal, they farm approximately 2 000 varieties of rice.

Climate change, poverty, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as a global priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity in 2004, which includes a set of actions and targets addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain ecosystems. 

 

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

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The Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) will take place 21-22 October in Mbale, Uganda. This Global Meeting, three years after the last one, which took place in Erzurum, Turkey, will provide members with an opportunity to discuss delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, which include three mountain-related targets,...

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IPROMO 2016 Summer School: Managing mountain resources and diversities - the role of protected areas

IPROMO 2016 Summer School: Managing mountain resources and diversities - the role of protected areas

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The ninth International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO), organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat and the University of Turin, will focus on “Managing mountain resources and diversities: the role of protected areas”. It will focus on several aspects that contribute to the productive...

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Action called for livestock in mountains

Action called for livestock in mountains

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In order to facilitate an open and inclusive platform for dialogue and building consensus on global sustainability issues related to livestock, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with partner organizations, held the 6th Multiple-Stakeholder Partnership meeting on 20-23 June in Panama City, Panama. During the meeting, the future of...

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World Environment Day in mountains of India

World Environment Day in mountains of India

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Stretching over 12 states - Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and the hilly districts of Assam and West Bengal, the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) is home to incredible diversity of flora and fauna. But this diversity is under serious threat due...

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Promoting mountain products in Bolivia

Promoting mountain products in Bolivia

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Alongside small mountain producers in Bolivia and Slow Food agronomists, Alessia Vita, Programme Expert/Economist at the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, developed a strategy on 29 May – 1 June 2016 to improve the value chain of selected quality products with market potential to enhance the producers’ income and livelihoods. She...

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Newsletter for West Africa mountains

Newsletter for West Africa mountains

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The Platform of Civil Society Organization for the Safeguard of Mountains (PSM) began a newsletter for green actors in seven countries of West Africa. PSM is a platform for the stability of mountains and the wellbeing of mountain communities in West Africa and includes some Mountain Partnership members.

With the release...

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